UPDATE: Since this article was published, Facebook has significantly curbed the ability for businesses to promote for free via the newsfeed. While the tips in this article can work for any social media post, we no longer recommend Facebook is your primary social media presence. Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter provide a better overall experience and better ROI for most businesses.
There are many reasons to promote your business on Facebook via a fan page. For one, it provides a link to your website. So at the very least, it helps a little bit with your ranking on search engines. More importantly, it is a way to hook customers into seeing your message through their Facebook feed. Once a customer “Likes” your page, your updates appear in their feed. This is useful because when you have a big promotion coming up, a holiday sale, or a new product or service debuting – Facebook can be a great venue to inform your client base.
Promoting the launch of your new business on Facebook is a great idea and when coupled with an enticing deal, can get the phone ringing quickly right from the start. But before you start posting like a maniac, it is important to arm yourself with a few effective marketing techniques so your campaign has the biggest impact. First, don’t actually post like maniac. Keep your posts to one a day, two if you have something really special to share. This increases the value of your posts. Next, you will want to grab attention with a good call to action that is hard to resist to your target client. It could be a deep “Grand Opening” discount, a free first visit to try you out, or a special gift (of real value) when they visit during your opening month.
Below is an actual Facebook page post from my feed. It is a new massage therapy studio being opened by a friend. I am sure she’s going to do very well. But there a few mistakes in how the business is being promoted on Facebook. Here’s the post:[one_whole centered_text=”true”] [/one_whole]
Let’s talk about a couple of things here. The first thing I noticed is no profile logo. At least the profile image represents what the business does, but a more memorable image that benefits the business would be a professional logo. After all, you want people to associate your posts with your business, not massage businesses in general.
Speaking of images, your Facebook post should always include an image. You will have far more engagement since photos draw people in and catch attention a lot better than just text. Just use a photo that relates to the topic of your post. At the very least, include an image that represents your business.
What’s the Message?
Next I look at the message: “I’ll be open for business….”. This is extremely common on Facebook but here’s the thing. People don’t care what you’re doing (on a personal level they do, of course. But we’re speaking for the business itself here). They want to know “what’s in it for me?” If they can’t figure out what that is from your message, it will fall flat. A better way to word this message would be “Come pamper yourself for an hour with a relaxing, soothing massage beginning October 14th!” In those terms, the customers knows what the benefit is and the descriptive words allow them to picture it in their mind. People buy on emotion, so this works very effectively.
Be Careful Mentioning Prices
Lastly is the prices. I’m not a big fan of posting prices when you promote your business on Facebook because when price becomes the selling point, you are competing on price and not on your quality of service – profit suffers. But there are instances where it makes sense. As we see here, these prices are posted as-is. If you don’t normally get massages, you have no idea if these prices are typical, too low, or too high. Also, are these discounted because of the grand opening? Probably not, but it’s tough to know for sure.
After researching massage prices I found these to be on the low end, about 30% lower than typical rates. Knowing that, a more effective post would have been to increase these prices to what a high-end massage studio charges, and then offer 50% off the first month the studio is open. This accomplishes two things: First, showing a higher “normal” price demonstrates the perceived value of the service. People will naturally believe the service must be pretty great to charge high prices. And second, the half-off discount, while only slightly lower than she was charging to begin with, looks like an incredible deal to would-be customers. Most importantly, it gets people in the door. The more people that you can get to try your service, the more people will be back to try it again, and again.
The Bottom Line
The decision to promote your business on Facebook should be thought out ahead of time. Posting for your business is much different than posting for yourself. When we post as ourselves, it’s not necessary to use emotional hooks and saavy wording. But translating this style to your business page will result in low returns. By using the basic techniques taught here, you will be well on your way to an effective Facebook campaign.